# Symbiotic Relationship between mathematics and science

Symbiotic means interaction between two ‘things’, this interaction is normally to the advantage of both.  It is a mutually favourable relationship that can happen between different groups or people.  It could be said that mathematics and science have a symbiotic relationship and that adopting a cross curricular approach to teaching both subjects in primary school create a perfect combination.  Both are connected and mutually beneficial to each other.  There are many areas where mathematics and science overlap especially as more areas of mathematical application are evolving.  Similar to some areas of science and engineering as they too develop, they become indistinguishable from some areas of mathematics.  Mathematics can reveal what scientists have discovered by helping children find relationships between a hypothesis and the data collected.  Scientists use data from their experiments to support or disprove their theories.  Without applying mathematics to science proving scientific theories would become very difficult.  For children to accurately understand a scientific principle or calculation they will need to comprehend the relationship between mathematics and science.  By helping children succeed in mathematics they will also improve their scientific skills.  Teachers need to be aware of the importance of these connections and provide opportunities to make meaningful links.  This is why teachers should respond with cross curricular teaching.  Cross curricular topics provide a good opportunity for children to think deeper and learn about the important relationship between mathematics and science.  Subjects taught effectively together can help children understand both areas in a more constructive manner and enable teachers to make connections to each topic and previous learning.  This will allow children to excel in these areas and have a profound understanding of both mathematics and science.

Brodie, M. and Byrne, E. (2012) Cross Curricular Teaching and Learning in the Secondary School… Science. Routledge.

Gilfeather, F. Griffiths, P. (1986) Mathematical sciences : a unifying and dynamic resource. Washington, D.C. : National Academy Press.

Kumon (2015) How Science and Math are Related, http://www.kumon.com/resources/how-science-and-math-are-related/  (accessed 24.02.17)

Oxford Dictionaries (2010) Oxford Dictionary of English, 3rd edition, OUP Oxford

# Role Play in Mathematics

Role play can be described as range of activities that mirror real life under a controlled environment.  It can be based around a ‘snapshot’ or reality or it could be taken from a ‘made up’ event.  Role play can allow children to manipulate time and space, restricted only by children’s imagination.  Role play has so many benefits as it  allows children to make sense of what they see and hear.  Role play can offer a way for children to be deeply immersed in their learning.  Role play can be used in many settings.  Using role play in an educational setting allows children to broaden their knowledge and understanding.  This is why role play can be a powerful tool in facilitating mathematical knowledge and understanding.

Role play not only is beneficial to pupils but to teachers as well.  As role play can help teachers to gain a more in-depth idea of a child’s knowledge of mathematical concepts.  An example of this could be creating a shop to check children’s understanding of exchanging money.  Role play can chance the feel of a classroom environment and change it into a creative learning space.  That could be because role play is seen as creative it may feel more like play to children than work.  As a result children might be more motivated to engage in activities.  Role play can teach some skills that are very difficult to learn in more traditional ways; such as self-awareness, problem solving, communication, initiative and team work. As role play is more creative; children might enjoy being active and therefore remember more, developing a greater knowledge and understanding.  Role play can make children feel more comfortable in real life situations as they already know the procedure e.g. buying items form a shop.  Role play can make learning real for children.  It allows children to explore their feelings and understanding in a non-threatening environment.

Bottle, G. (2005) Teaching Mathematics in the Primary School. Continnuum-3PL.

Briggs, M. (2014) Creative Teaching Mathematics in the Primary Classroom. Routledge.

Cummings, A. and Featherstone, S. (2009) Role Play in the Early Years. Featherstone Education.

Lee, T. and Pound, L. (2015) Teaching Mathematics Creatively. Routledge.

Matwiejczuk, K. (1997) Role Play: Theory and Practice. SAGE Publications LTD.

# We’re going on a bear hunt!

Mathematical language can be found everywhere.  As I have recently found out.  I was challenged to find mathematical language in a picture book.  I chose ‘We’re going in a bear hunt’ by Michael Rosen.

I found this book not only had mathematical language but it was very repetitive; which would work well in the early year’s environment.  Some of the mathematical language included:

• Big
• Long
• Over
• Under
• Through
• Deep
• Thick
• Narrow
• One
• Two
• Back
• Up
• Down

So a very common theme or concept coming from this was size and direction.  With that in mind I thought for when planning the lesson you could bring in some props.  For example while the story was being read out the children could each be holding an arrow.  The arrow would symbolise the direction of the people walking.  So for example if the people in the book go ‘up’ the children could point the arrow up towards the sky.  To check the children’s understanding the teacher could also use the arrow and point it in different directions and the children could say the answer, showing their understanding of ‘up’ or ‘down’.  I also thought this story would be a great if actions are added in.  You could even get the children involved and ask them what action would go with each word.  This would increase the engagement of each child and also check their understanding of the story.

# Dance!

We recently had a dance workshop. Something I was quite excited about as I enjoy dancing, although I’m no expert! As a child I took some dance classes and performed in a show. But now I only dance for fun. I really enjoyed the dance workshop. We mostly looked at different types of movement and levels of dance. So this is what inspired me to create a dance lesson for primary five.

CfE outcome:
Inspired by a range of stimuli, I can express my ideas, thoughts and feelings through creative work in dance.
EXA 0-09a / EXA 1-09a / EXA 2-09a
learning intentions:
By the end of the lesson I will have in a small group come up with a dance based on an emotion using different movement and expression.

Success criteria:
To be able to come up with a short dance sequence using: music, different types of movement, rhythm and levels while focusing on the theme.

Assessment opportunities:
To assess if the children have achieved the success criteria I will watch their performance and use peer evaluation.

Learning activities:
To start off with I will include a few different warm up games for the children. This will also take away their nerves. I will then include actives that show different types movement and how to travel across the room. I will explain to the children that they need to use all these different form of movement to make up a performance that only last a couple of minutes. Then at the end of the lesson we will all watch the performances. At the end of each performance I will ask the children what the liked about each performance and something that could be improved on.

I would like to keep dancing fun and enjoyable for the children. Dancing can improve your confidence and improve your knowledge about dance and your own body. I look back at dance with a positive attitude and that is something I want to impart onto the children.

# Smart Target

Today I’ve come up with a SMART target that relates to science. A SMART target is a good way to accomplish targets and to get the done in time.
SMART stands for:
Specific
Measurable
Achievable
Relevant
Timed
In our science lecture we were talking about famous scientists. We got asked if we have a favourite scientist and if not we should have one. That made me think that I children should have a broad understanding of famous scientist and maybe have a favourite one. So that is what my SMART target will be based upon.
Specific – we will research famous scientists in class. By the end of the lesion the children should choose their favourite and explain why.
Measurable – I will develop a lesson plan
Achievable – I will beforehand research into famous scientists. This will help my knowledge and understanding and it will also help me to choose the resources for the children to use.
Relevant – I will link this to the Curriculum for excellence: experience and outcomes.
Timed – By the end of semester one I will have planned my lesson